It surprised me that this utterly lovely wedding day was held in the Autumn. It has that fresh sunny feel of a Spring wedding, with so many pretty touches.
WWW readers Emma and Nick were married on the 25th October 2014 and held their wedding party in a village hall in Surrey. They hoped for a wedding which was relaxed and friendly whilst representing their personalities.
Floral fabric and candy pink colours were used throughout the DIY details crafted by the couple and their family themselves. The bouquets were divine as were the DIY bunting stationery and festoon lighting.
Emma donned a sublime tea length lace dress by Candy Anthony which looked perfect for twirling and the boys wore tweed bow ties. Perfection.
Huge thanks goes to Laura Debourde for sharing these wonderful photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | Christmas Eve last year. Power cut, candles and our favourite song. It was a complete surprise!
THE VISION | The most important thing for us was to have all of our family and friends around us. We wanted a relaxed and friendly wedding that felt like a party and reflected our personalities. I’m quite crafty so I was hoping to make as much as possible myself. We were also looking to keep to a fairly limited budget.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Nick’s priorities for the day were that we were both happy, enjoyed ourselves and that there was enough food for everyone! We made all of the big decisions together but hours of research to find just the right afternoon tea supplier or the perfect wedding cake isn’t really Nick’s cup of tea, so I put in most of the leg work to organise the details and decoration.
BUDGET | Under £10k.
THE VENUE | We got married in All Saints Church in Grayswood, Surrey and held our reception at the village hall opposite. After looking at a few hotels and formal wedding venues that limited catering options – and sometimes even told you which DJ you had to use – we decided that a DIY approach would be best for us. Although the hall was a little more expensive than other village halls we could have used, it was beautifully light and airy, had a lovely terrace and overlooked the village green. Also, being able to hold the ceremony and reception so close together made everything a lot easier. Using a village hall also meant that we had complete freedom in terms of the catering that we could choose. Maryanne from Jam and Tea provided an amazing afternoon tea for our guests. We had a hog roast in the evening along with a delicious Greek buffet prepared by Nick’s mum. In the interests of making the wedding feel more like a family party, we decided to provide most of the alcohol – including copious amounts of Prosecco – but also invited our guests to bring donations for the evening. We loved the gin bar, masterminded by my mum. Our dads also bought opposing real ales, which everyone enjoyed sampling.
THE DRESS | The dress was from Candy Anthony.
FINDING THE DRESS | I’m not a girly girl and I initially thought I’d be able to economise on the dress. I was looking for a 50s style tea length dress with some lace and I only really went to Candy Anthony for “research”. However, once I tried on the dress, there was no going back and I decided that we would have to cut back in other areas instead!
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nick chose a Hugo Boss three piece suit with a tweed bow tie. He was very proud of his Kurt Geiger shoes! We spent a long time considering what the ushers should wear. In the end, we bought grey checked shirts, braces and coordinating bow ties and asked them to supply their own trousers or suits.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose the hymns for the church together (as a primary school teacher, I was keen to choose ones that didn’t sound too much like a school assembly!) and eventually settled on ‘Morning has Broken’, ‘Lord of All Hopefulness’ and ‘Make me a Channel of Your Peace’. Nick’s cousin and best man Angelo also happens to be a church organist, so he played us out of the church, which was lovely. The Bible reading we chose was the traditional 1 Corinthians 13, read by Nick’s dad. My aunt read and extract from ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’.
Music is very important to both of us, so we were keen for it to play a big part in the day, and we were able to put more of our own stamp on the music for the evening. We have known for a long time that we wanted Nick’s friends to DJ at our wedding reception (they run a funk, motown and soul club night). Nick loves jazz, so he made a playlist of vintage jazz classics to play during the afternoon tea. We also booked a local rock and roll covers band (Jesse Ray Band), who are friends of my dad. They were amazing and fitted the theme perfectly. They even played our first dance, which was ‘Dearest’ by Buddy Holly. Nick is half Greek, so we also had a bit of traditional Greek dancing in the evening. We loved the music so much that we made a playlist of our favourite songs played throughout the day and burnt it on to vinyl-style CDs. We gave these out as favours, which doubled as place settings for our guests.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Sam and cousin Kate were the two adult bridesmaids. They looked absolutely beautiful. Their dresses were made by Velvet Birdcage in Worthing, who were amazing and very flexible in making changes to their existing designs. Nick’s very cute niece was our flower girl.
THE FLOWERS | We spent a long time deciding what to do about the flowers. For a while, I considered going down the dried flower route combined with wheat, as it was an autumn wedding. My mum felt very strongly, however, that there should be fresh flowers at a wedding. In the end, I have to admit that she was completely right! I had seen loads of beautiful rustic and vintage style spring and summer bouquets before meeting with the florist, but very few that achieved that effect using autumn and winter flowers. Krissi at The Blacksmiths Daughter managed to recreate that style perfectly. We collected jam jars to use for the table flowers and bought bunches of local English herbs and flowers from the florist, which we ‘arranged’ ourselves. We decided it wasn’t necessary to have any extra flowers in the church. They very kindly put out candles on the windowsills for us instead.
THE CAKE | We chose a pink ombre ruffle-iced cake with a sugar rose on top made by The Buttercup Kitchen in Woking.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | We were very lucky to find Laura. She really put us at ease and we couldn’t be more pleased with our photos.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | I really enjoyed making little bits and pieces for the wedding. I think that the festoon lights we hired had the biggest impact, along with the paper lanterns that we bought. The ribbon backdrop for the hall also worked really well. My mum helped us out by making most of the lovely bunting that went on the backs of the chairs. We also roped in Nick’s family to help make the tiny washi-tape bunting for the orders of service! As we had long tables, I struggled to work out how to present the seating plan but I was really pleased with how this turned out in the end.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent a few days after the wedding in a beautiful tree house in the Dordogne, France. We’re also planning a trip to Canada next year.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | On the Friday before the wedding, we only had a few hours to decorate the hall and set up all of the tables. We also had a rehearsal for the ceremony, so we left my mum and Nick’s sister with a few helpers while we dashed over to the church. When we got back, the hall looked amazing and I remember feeling so happy and relieved that everything was coming together. On the day, my aunt’s reading at the ceremony made us really emotional. Above all though, Nick’s speech was comedy gold and had everyone in stitches (though I’m not sure the groom’s speech is supposed to!)
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It really is true what everyone says – the day really does fly by. Make the most of it and try and take the time to enjoy it! Also, bear in mind that some things won’t quite go to plan. We found out a few months before the wedding that the church was going to be covered in scaffolding on our wedding day. Keep in mind what is really important about the day and the little things won’t matter. In the end, we hardly even noticed it. We were so pleased that we were able to make our wedding so personal, but we couldn’t have done it without the help and support of all of our family and friends. A DIY venue involves lots of setting up and clearing away (we spent our first morning of married life sweeping up cigarette butts outside the hall!) but for us it was really worth the effort.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Laura Debourde
Afternoon Tea | Jam and Tea
Hog Roast | Organic Hog Roast
Cake | The Buttercup Kitchen
Bouquets | The Blacksmiths Daughter
Hair | Tracey West Hair
Dress | Candy Anthony
Bridesmaid Dresses | Velvet Birdcage
Bow Ties | Mary’s Collection Bow Ties
Band | Jesse Ray Band
Honeymoon | Chateaux dans les Arbres Treehouses
Oh so lovely.
Thank you so much Emma and Nick for sharing your wedding story with us XO Lou